NEW YORK, Nov. 19, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Youth INC hosted its virtual Celebration “Un-Gala” on Wednesday, November 18th. The event, which capped off a fall fundraising drive, garnered more than $2.1 million for the organization. The night’s honoree was Roger Ferguson, TIAA President and CEO, who was presented with the John C. Whitehead Leadership Award in recognition of his public service and philanthropic contributions.
In his acceptance remarks, Ferguson spoke about the opportunities available to underserved students through education, and his appreciation for Youth INC’s work. “I firmly believe that education is the key to enabling success and ensuring young people can become leaders who can make a difference in our communities,” said Ferguson. “I share Youth INC’s conviction that education has the power to save lives and am honored to be recognized by an organization committed to making an impact on our underserved youth and the world.”
Youth INC has raised more than $100 million over the past 26 years to empower its nonprofit partners to harness best practices from the private sector and academia to achieve sustainable growth and deepen the social emotional learning (SEL) impact of its programs on young people. Scholars and many leading organizations in the public and private sector believe SEL is a critical component of youth development and key to supporting social progress. In fact, the Aspen Institute estimates that every dollar spent on SEL makes an $11 return on the investment.
This was the first year that the Celebration event was not held in person. Youth INC Board Co-President Kathleen McCabe of PJT Partners addressed the change, saying, “Despite moving online, this year’s Celebration ‘Un-Gala’ was a remarkable event. It connected us with a host of new supporters and champions and Roger Ferguson was a consummate honoree—inspiring, humble, and ever insightful.”
Youth INC also highlighted the work of its nonprofit partner, St. Ignatius School. “Our partnership with Youth INC has paid so many dividends over the past four years. We are excited to continue deepening our relationship and honored to be featured in this year’s Celebration ‘Un-Gala,’” said St. Ignatius Principal, Richard Darrell. “Youth INC’s support and coaching has helped fuel our organizational growth and development and deepened our impact with our students.”
“Youth INC’s mission to ‘transform the lives of New York City youth by empowering the nonprofits that serve them’ is more vital than ever,” said Dhananjay M. Pai, Youth INC Board Co-Chair and President & COO of P. Schoenfeld Asset Management. “That this year’s event was able to raise over $2 million, speaks to that vitality. We are grateful to our community of supporters for their ongoing belief in our mission and venture philanthropy model for impact.”
“We are currently navigating through unprecedented times for the social impact sector,” said Youth INC National Advisory Board Member, Alan Schwartz, Executive Chairman of Guggenheim Partners. “But it is remarkable to see the resiliency of the Youth INC team in the face of challenging headwinds. This Celebration ‘Un-Gala’ was a testament to the importance of their work with NYC grassroots nonprofits and the young people they serve. I am excited to see how we can use these funds to extend our impact in a time of great need.”
As part of its work to support its nonprofit partners during the ongoing pandemic, Youth INC has issued more than $700,000 in grants to 58 grassroots nonprofits through its COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. During a tumultuous period for the social impact sector, these funds have proved critical in helping organizations weather the storm. Lisa Recio, Executive Director of Roads to Success, one of the grantees, shared her thoughts on the program: “There is a saying One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone . . . The Youth INC Response and Recovery Grant allows us the opportunity to show our youth that they are not alone.”
COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund Grantees: STEM From Dance, Girl Be Heard Institute, Minds Matter NYC, Opening Act, viBe Theater Experience, Youth Action Programs and Homes, Inc., Drama Club Inc, Roads to Success, Inc, Fresh Youth Initiatives, Inc., I Challenge Myself, Inc., Project Morry, Artists Striving to End Poverty, America on Tech (AOT), Chess-in-the-Schools, INC, Trail Blazer Camps, Beam Center, You Gotta Believe!, St. Ignatius School, Fiver Children's Foundation, Girls Write Now, Only Make Believe, Community-Word Project, Inc., LEAP, Inc, Bloomingdales Family Program, Play Rugby USA, Literacy, Inc. (LINC), America SCORES New York, Rocking the Boat, Council for Unity, FAN4Kids, Behind the Book, George Jackson Academy, 826NYC, Kids Creative 404 Inc., Extreme Kids & Crew, Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy, Inc., Dancewave Inc., PowerPlay NYC, Inc., Beat the Streets, NYC, INCLUDEnyc, Read Ahead, The Reading Team, Change for Kids, A Fair Shake for Youth, Inc., The Brooklyn Music School, Serious Fun After School, Inc., The New York Center for Children, TADA! Theatre and Dance Alliance, Inc., GallopNYC, Saint Barnabas High School, Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York, NYC FIRST, Cornelia Connelly Center, Hour Children, ParentChild+, Futures and Options, Friends of the Children NY, Global Kids
Celebration Un-Gala Vice Chairs: Antoinette ‘Toni’ Bush (News Corp), Stephanie Cohen (Goldman Sachs), Jeffrey R. Holzschuh (Morgan Stanley), Jo Ann Jenkins (AARP), Elizabeth Lempres (McKinsey & Co., Emerita), Stephen K. Orr (Orr Group), Richard P. Schifter (TPG Capital), Alan Schwartz (Guggenheim Partners), George P. Stamas (Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher), Ted Virtue (MidOcean Partners), John Waldron (Goldman Sachs), Jonathan Weiss (Wells Fargo & Co.) Co-Chairs: James Christopoulos (CVC Capital), Rodney Cohen (Black Diamond Capital), William Q. Derrough (Moelis & Company), Stratton Heath (Oak Hill Capital Partners), Christine Hommes (Apollo), Mel Ike (Blackstone), Douglas Kaden (SDC Capital Partners), Barbara Marcin, Kathleen McCabe (PJT Partners), Amy Miller (Scotiabank), Dhananjay Pai (P. Schoenfeld Asset Management), Daniel Pine (CS Capital), Mai Shiver (AIG), Wray Thorn (Sightway Capital), Evan Wildstein (Kohlberg & Company) Benefit Committee: Noel Anderson (NYU), Karen Beldy Torborg (Marsh), Mark DiMilia (Morgan Stanley), Emmett McCann (Oaktree Capital), Robert McCooey (Nasdaq), Kenneth Prince (Advent International), Stancel Riley (Mizuho), Adrianne Shapira (Eurazeo)